Thinking of a 7 inch tablet? Don't forget the powerful HTC Flyer

Thinking of a 7 inch tablet? Don't forget the powerful HTC Flyer

Summary: As excitement builds for the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet, people should also consider the powerful and functional HTC Flyer that is now priced at just $299.99.


In my Kindle Fire vs. Nook Tablet article I mentioned that I have an HTC Flyer. I think the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet are excellent devices for the price and most people will be quite happy with them. Those who are looking for a more powerful 7 inch Android tablet may also want to seriously consider the HTC Flyer that is now priced at just $299.99, $100 more than the Kindle Fire and just $50 more than the Nook Tablet.

The Nook Tablet and Kindle Fire can be tweaked and hacked and can be made into full Android tablets, but they are still missing Bluetooth, microphone (Nook Tablet has one), GPS, and cameras. The HTC Flyer is a full Android tablet that you can use as an ebook reader with Nook and Kindle apps. By default, HTC has their Reader application that is a branded ebook service powered by Kobo that even includes a home screen widget. In addition, the HTC Flyer has support for digital ink with integrated Evernote service. I use my HTC Flyer to take notes in meetings and during Sunday sermons and find it to be a natural and engaging experience.

On our latest MobileTechRoundup podcast Kevin mentioned that the Kindle Fire user interface is simply a launcher on top of Android and you can find and install that on devices like the HTC Flyer and Samsung Galaxy Tab. Kevin now has a great post on GigaOM that mirrors my thoughts for the HTC Flyer. One reason I was thinking of keeping the Kindle Fire (I still may do so) is the ease of integration with Amazon services, but you can get all of these same services through apps and the browser on the HTC Flyer. Amazon Prime videos can be viewed through the browser and if you look around you can find the .apk file to put a more seamless app on the HTC Flyer too.

While I think the Amazon Kindle Fire hardware is excellent, I find the HTC Flyer hardware to be even better with a solid aluminim and white plastic body, beautiful display, and easy to navigate user interface. It also comes with 16GB integrated storage and capability for external storage with a microSD card slot.

HTC also optimized many applications and services on the Flyer so you get a top notch email experience, excellent photo browser, and more. It looks like the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet will open people's eyes to the 7 inch form factor and before you jump on one of these two, I recommend you think about what you really want and need in a small tablet and consider paying just a bit more for the HTC Flyer.

UPDATE: I find the HTC Flyer to be so beneficial to how I roll that I just ordered a 3G one so I can be connected at all times without having to tether. It's funny that trying out the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet rekindled my desire for my HTC Flyer and put it back in my hands more than ever. BTW, the 3G model works on T-Mobile 3G and was priced at less than $500.

Topics: Hardware, HTC, Laptops, Mobility, Tablets

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  • Don't forget the Blackberry Playbook

    It knocks the socks off all the aforementioned devices.
    • The PlayBook is good, but needs the v2 update first

      @sagec I agree that the PlayBook is a solid device and considered including it as well. I see that the price is dropping, but they really need to get the v2.0 update out with a stand alone email client and Android support to compete with a device like the HTC Flyer.
      palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
    • RE: Thinking of a 7 inch tablet? Don't forget the powerful HTC Flyer

      @sagec - Does it have a native email app yet? I don't have a BlackBerry.
  • Perhaps there is room for a tablet middle-tier

    I am looking at Acer's Iconia A-100, currently priced at $329.99, with more than passing interest.
    Rabid Howler Monkey
  • RE: Thinking of a 7 inch tablet? Don't forget the powerful HTC Flyer

    The Flyeris great, but I don't care for the curved back. How can use he pen and press on it thinking you will scratch the back? That being said,the 1.5ghz processor is snappy and well suited for the Flyer.Playbook is good too especially for tmobile Blackberry users
  • RE: Thinking of a 7 inch tablet? Don't forget the powerful HTC Flyer

    Seriously, dudes.... I LOVE my Flyer! Sold my rooted Nook Color a few months ago and bought a Flyer and haven't looked back. For $100 more than the Amazon Kindle Fire I get an additional 8 GM flash, bluetooth, front and rear cameras (Skype works well on this thing!), GPS, and a micros SD Card slot. In addition I've got access to the apps in Amazon's App Store, all the Apps in the Google Market, all the books in Amazon's book store and all the book in Barnes & Noble's Book store. The comparison with the Nook Color Tablet is even more favorable, as only $50.00 separates the two, and you're still getting front and rear cameras, a GPS and Bluetooth that works the way it is supposed to out of the box.

    In addition, you have the option of adding an Ntrig stylus. I bought the stylus when I got my Flyer, though I have to admit that I use it far less often than I thought I would. The big problem is that few Android 2.3 applications support the stylus. Supposedly the coming Honeycomb update adds stylus support to all applications.
  • RE: Thinking of a 7 inch tablet? Don't forget the powerful HTC Flyer

    For some reason my last post here an hour ago failed to show up. Oh well, try again.

    Is this discontinued? I called Best Buy and they said they aren't getting any. Online it says "not shipping".
  • RE: Thinking of a 7 inch tablet? Don't forget the powerful HTC Flyer

    I have owned a Flyer for months, and while I am generally happy with it, I am now even happier with my recent purchase of the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus. The new Tab has an integrated IR blaster which has already proven itself useful in several waiting rooms with annoying TVs blaring... <grin>

    The Flyer's stylus isn't as useful to me as I had hoped it would be. I really do appreciate the inking features, but I wish there was a facility to switch it into stylus mode so I could navigate the device with it. I know most are all about multi-touch experiences today, but this "old-timer" misses the tactile nature of his iPaq (No, that is not a typo and I meant Compaq not Apple).

    Matt: I would love to hear your take on the Tab Plus 7.0 - I think it is going to a sleeper hit.

    • RE: Thinking of a 7 inch tablet? Don't forget the powerful HTC Flyer


      I've played with the Tab 7.0 plus in Best Buy. It is super sexaaay! If I didn't already have a Flyer that's the tablet I'd be lusting after. Excellent build quality, significantly lighter and thinner than the Flyer. Is it worth an extran $100? I don't know. But it's definitely an object of desire.
  • RE: Thinking of a 7 inch tablet? Don't forget the powerful HTC Flyer

    I own a HTC flyer as well, and I really feel that this tablet is undermined by the general public because people want dual core processors and honeycomb. But, really the tablet is very user friendly and adds great value to my daily life. I use the n trig pen digitizer to take notes, and bring it with me everywhere for watching videos and ebook reading and lots of other functions. If I were to choose again, I will choose nothing else other than the flyer. On the net, the HTC flyer has relatively high satisfaction rates in the 7 inch form factor category. It is true, this device should not be immediately dismissed over the nook tablet and kindle fire. I recommend it to everyone.
  • True. So much better to have the full tablet experience.

    I would buy the Flyer absolutely over those other two devices. I can see maybe the Nook Tablet since it's not quite so locked down and crippled as the Fire.With either device, I think I'd be happy for about a month and then be kind of bummed that this nice big 7" device can't do half the things my good old smart phone can do.

    I also really really want pen input for doing some sketches.

    All that said, there's no way I'm buying anything like this for another 6 months. I think prices will drop, we are just entering a period of intense competition around the $200-300 mark, and most of all ICE CREAM SANDWICH is going to be far far nicer than whatever's on any of the current tablets.
  • RE: Thinking of a 7 inch tablet? Don't forget the powerful HTC Flyer

    Here's another vote for the HTC Flyer. This is one solid tank of a tablet (I really prefer aluminum over plastic); the screen is great; speed and responsiveness are top notch (don't be fooled by dual core advertising, right now there is little software in the Android world that takes full advantage of a 1ghz dual core that the 1.5ghz single core can't smoke). With front and rear facing cameras, GPS, 16gb internal/32gb micro SD, bluetooth, active digitizer, the Flyer outpaces both of the reader/tablets and most of the other 7" tablets out there. True, there will be a lot of developmetns over the next 6 months, and my preferences may change by then as well, but why waste 6 months on the sideline for $299?
  • RE: Thinking of a 7 inch tablet? Don't forget the powerful HTC Flyer

    I would hold off buying the HTC Flyer until HTC pushes out the update! 8 months ago they said it was coming!
  • RE: Thinking of a 7 inch tablet? Don't forget the powerful HTC Flyer

    Since the data enabled Flyer only comes with a 14.4 4G radio, wouldn't it be cheaper and faster to just use a T-mobile Sonic 4G hotspot and keeping your wifi Flyer?
  • Forget 7 inch... go with 8 inch

    I've owned half a dozen 7 inch devices and one 8 inch. Guess what? The 8 inch form is a much better screen size overall. I believe the manufacturers keep releasing 7 inches because it's much cheaper for them to produce.

    Companies who put alot of thought into their products tend to not release the 7 inch size.
  • I'll buy your flyer for $225!

    Thanks for your consideration :-)
    • Thanks, already traded

      @bsteele00 Thanks, I would have accepted that offer, but I already traded it for some gear I was looking to get for Christmas presents.
      palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
  • RE: Thinking of a 7 inch tablet? Don't forget the powerful HTC Flyer

    I own the HTC Flyer as well as the Samsung Tab and the Flyer wins for me, hands down. I too use the stylus for note taking and have the Kindle and NOOK apps installed for ebook reading. (I still have a Nook for reading as a stand alone device). When the Flyer first came out, I took the plunge and bought a 3G version through Expansys so mine is made for the U.K. I had to make a few changes to get everything localized for the U.S. but other than that it rocks. I have been reading all of the reviews on the Kindle Fire and I may get one for my son who is interested in getting it for movies, music and books. Thanks for keeping an open mind and pointing out that there are other less popular, yet equally if not more capable devices in the market.
  • RE: Thinking of a 7 inch tablet? Don't forget the powerful HTC Flyer

    I was considering the Flyer myself, but checking now, it's not available anywhere! At least not without a cellular contract. Was it just a price dump to get them off Best Buy's shelves and into the cellcos' stores?

    I was ready to ask my wife for the Flyer for Christmas when the Fire/NookTab news broke. Now, it looks like I may have missed out. While it would be nice to pay less for one of the e-Booktabs, I'd rather have something more powerful.

    I guess my choice is now between saving money on the BlackBerry Playbook (even though I hate my BlackBerry phone and can't wait for the Nexus Prime so I can get rid of it) or spending more on the Samsung Galaxy Tab. Unless of course this is just a hiccup for the Flyer.
  • RE: Thinking of a 7 inch tablet? Don't forget the powerful HTC Flyer

    And don't forget the $299 Dell Streak